I've watched for the last couple of years as writer friends made the leap to publish and made notes on their successes and failures. Patterns emerge from the data and I can glean a few major points of musts/must avoids in this new world of publishing.
The biggest concern I've seen is the about the volume of published titles. Whether it's self-publishing phenomenon Russell Blake or an established name like Stephen King, a constant release of new material is a must. An author publishing/releasing new material keeps the brand in the spotlight and hence, increases sales of all titles.
The big problem is-- how many individual writers can produce enough titles to achieve this 'rising tide lifts all boats' volume number?
Can you produce/release 10-12 titles a year? I can't. Not even close. Even without a 'real' job, I couldn't produce more than 3-4 titles in a given year.
This brings me to the general observation about why most indies fail--- going at it alone. The bottom line seems to be this: the economy of scale dictates that a group will have more strength than the individual.
I believe the solution is for like-minded artists to link their art, to produce, promote and release as a 'collective', a combined tapestry of art. The purpose is two-fold-- to lessen the costs for each artist. As the numbers grow, the cost of production will fall. And second, and most important-
Artists linking together in a collective will be able to achieve a much greater 'scale' of awareness for their own individual art than if they had promoted/marketed it as a solo operation.
The key is to find artists producing content that works together. The highest goal is for the produced art to achieve a 'complete picture' if one reader were to experience it all.
What are your thoughts on this proposed 'collective'? Do you believe like-minded artists grouping together can overcome some of the disadvantages of self-publishing vs the more complete services offered by traditional publishers? Let me know your opinions.
From Las Vegas
Stephen John Moran